The transport of dangerous substances by rail is carried out according to the provisions of the Act on the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (Official Gazette 79/07) and the provisions of the Convention concerning International Carriage by Rail (COTIF), appendix C, Regulations concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Rail (RID).
Categorization of dangerous substances
Dangerous goods are substances or objects that are subject to certain prohibitions or restrictions during transport. They are divided into nine classes:
Class 1. Explosive substances and objects
Class 2. Gases
Class 3. Flammable liquids
Class 4.1. Flammable solids, self-reactive substances and desensitized solid explosives
Class 4.2. Substances liable to spontaneous combustion
Class 4.3. Substances that create flammable gases in contact with water
Class 5.1. Oxidizing substances
Klasa 5.2. Organic peroxides
Klasa 6.1. Toxic substances
Klasa 6.2. Infectious substances
Klasa 7. Radioactive material
Klasa 8. Corrosive substances
Klasa 9. Miscellaneous dangerous substances and objects
Education of railway workers
All workers who participate in the transportation of dangerous goods were instructed in accordance with the obligations described in the RID regulations, as well as the complexity and responsibility of their jobs. The security advisor for RID/ADR performs especially specialized tasks.
Takeover for transport
When shipments of dangerous goods are loaded, one should observe the regulations that are valid in the departure station or the departure railway administration. Before the start of the loading process, the consignor (or the consignor’s representative) must submit a properly and fully filled out waybill to the railway. The indication of dangerous goods in the waybill must correspond to one of the terms in the RID regulation, i.e. table 3.2 A, list of dangerous goods by UN numbers. If it has not been cleaned, the packaging, which includes large containers for bulk cargo and empty tank wagons, must be closed as if it were full, i.e. it must be labeled with the same danger labels as if it were full. When dangerous goods are transported, in addition to the waybill, it is advisable to attach instructions on special safety and technical measures that must be taken during the transport.
When explosive and toxic substances are transported, in addition to the waybill and instructions on special safety and technical measures, the consignor must also submit a transport permit issued by the competent ministry. When toxic substances are transported, the transport permit is issued by the competent county office for health affairs in domestic transport, the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Croatia in international transport, and the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Croatia in case of shipments of explosives. Permits are not required for military shipments, which must be under military supervision from the moment they are taken over for transport until their handover.
Procedure in case of an extraordinary event
An extraordinary event in railway traffic (technical defect, deterioration of materials or strong blow during maneuvering) can cause the spillage or leakage of dangerous goods. Depending on the type of dangerous goods, the workers who directly participate in the transportation of the dangerous substance, that is, in the intervention during the elimination of irregularities, as well as the environment into which the hazardous substance flows, are at risk.
In case of an extraordinary event, all employees of the Croatian railways are obliged to take all measures to protect the people and the environment. When irregularities in the transportation of dangerous goods are rectified, efforts should be made to eliminate the malfunctions at the station first, whereupon all prescribed protective measures should be taken. An extraordinary event that occurs at the station during the transportation of dangerous goods must be immediately reported to the traffic officer, the head of the station or any station employee, and an extraordinary event on the open line section to the traffic officer at the nearest station. Verbal notifications of extraordinary events must contain the most necessary information, which include the following:
- who provides the information and from where,
- exact location and type of the extraordinary event,
- if there are any injured or killed people,
- temporarily taken security measures.
The following parties should also be informed about the extraordinary event:
- National Protection and Rescue Directorate – telephone number 112,
- security advisor for RID,
- regional traffic operatives of the Croatian railways,
- competent fire department,
- nearest police station.
The official notification of an extraordinary event during the transport of dangerous goods, which is forwarded to the relevant institutions, must contain the following:
- first and last name of the person notifying,
- location of the extraordinary event took (railway station or kilometer position of the track),
- exact time when the extraordinary event was noticed,
- type of dangerous substance,
- amount of spilled liquid (flow rate – drops per minute),
- cause of spillage (type of irregularity or event),
- information about the weather conditions.